From the steady increase of monthly podcast listeners (currently at 104M Americans), to the 48% increase in ad revenue year-over-year –– podcasts are one of the biggest growth opportunities for publishers and advertisers. As long time supporters of this valuable and engaging platform, we continue to invest in and break ground with our podcast tech. With that, we’re excited to announce a slew of enhanced features available on our publisher and advertiser platforms. These features include two first-to-market solutions – one aimed at giving publishers and advertisers a way to confidently buy and sell brand safe inventory, the other is the long awaited automated host-read ads.
For publishers, these tools give a more efficient way to package podcast inventory and greatly enhance the listener experience. For advertisers, these tools bring flexibility and granular targeting to better reach their target listeners in unique ways.
Third-Party Verified Brand Safety
Delivering brand safe advertising in podcasts can be tricky. Some podcast content varies episode to episode and can include topics that don’t match with preset descriptions. Not being able to target against accurate content topics can create uncertainty and oftentimes prevent brands from advertising on podcasts altogether.
To address this challenge, AdsWizz and Comscore came together to create a first-to-market solution that gives publishers and advertisers a way to confidently buy and sell brand safe inventory. AdsWizz brings the full text analysis of an episode and Comscore brings the trusted content segments – such as weapons, negative news, and now pandemic content – to ensure ads are always aligned to the content appropriately. Read more about the partnership here.
Through content analysis, our contextual targeting feature taps into multiple sources of content segments to include or exclude in targeting strategies. For example, by searching the topic “psychology”, this feature can return a list of segments from IAB categories, Media Topics, news codes, and so on. Contextual targeting lets ad buyers serve their ads only to podcast shows or episodes that have psychology as a central theme, for example, even if it isn’t included in the preset descriptions.
Both Brand Safety with Comscore and Contextual Targeting can be found within our PodScribe solution.
Consumption Type Targeting
When managing campaigns, podcast consumption type targeting lets you select between streamed or downloaded podcasts. This ensures that when promoting time-sensitive offers or when attribution measurement is needed, you are able to select an audio format that meets the campaign needs. Generally, streaming should be used for time-sensitive situations. For example, when promoting a virtual concert, you should select streamed podcasts and control the time frame of the message being delivered. For brand awareness campaigns, streaming or downloaded podcasts can be equally awesome.
With our enhanced Podcast Sponsorship feature, publishers can provide advertisers with the opportunity to sponsor an entire podcast, an episode of that podcast, or a set of episodes (including the whole back-catalog). Publishers can even offer ad break positions, like the coveted pre-roll position of multiple podcasts or episodes. These dynamic functions allow publishers to keep the effectiveness of the traditional sponsorship method, while having the option to open up more advertising opportunities when both sides are seeking something beyond traditional ads.
It can be challenging to tell a full story in a 30-second audio ad. Our Ad Sequencing feature allows a richer story to be told through multiple ads in a pre-defined order, regardless of format – streamed or downloaded. Ad sequencing can be applied to one episode or across multiple episodes, whenever the same listener is identified.
Bonus points: Combine Ad Sequencing with Podcast Sponsorship to fully align brand messages to the podcast content. With this lovable pair, brand awareness and recall are strengthened.
It’s all about keeping the listener happy. Frequency capping helps maintain a positive listening experience and prevents overexposure to the same ad. Our enhanced feature gives you control at the episode level, not just across multiple episodes.
These new features can be used across all the ways publishers and advertisers transact advertising – direct sales, programmatic PMP deals, PodWave Marketplace, and third-party sales.
Automated Host-Read Ads
Rounding out these new features is a truly innovative, first-to-market automated host-read advertising solution currently in use with select clients. Host-read ads are the industry standard, and for a good reason: They’re highly effective for advertisers. Because a host-read ad is native, and feels like part of the content, there’s a built-in trust factor.
Historically, host-read ads were either part of the original podcast recording or recorded later and “stitched” into the podcast, often referred to as “baked-in ads”. There are several limitations with this. One is loss of relevance over time. Timely promotional ads grow stale and can’t be swapped out later. The other is limited targeting capabilities. Yes, the podcast audience may be similar because they listen to the same show, but what if you wanted to target male vs. female, or by location?
Automated host-read ads expand beyond these limitations by allowing you to swap out ads in a timely manner, target and reach different audiences at the same time, and buy/sell in real-time on programmatic platforms. Additionally, this new solution allows you to monetize your entire back catalog, bringing in additional revenue.
Is your interest piqued? Reach out to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org